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Geneva hosts Aston Martin Lagonda revival

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The Car Expert Best of British horizontal bannerBritish luxury sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has unveiled an all-electric concept at the Geneva motor show that revives the famed Lagonda badge.

The Lagonda Vision Concept previews at least one and possibly two production models, to launch between 2021 and 2023, and Aston Martin insists the revived Lagonda will be true to the heritage of the company founded by Anglo-American entrepreneur Wilbur Gunn in 1904.

Gunn’s Lagondas were known for their innovation, one model in 1910 boasting a form of monocoque decades before the technology became widely accepted. Aston Martin bought Lagonda in 1947 and continued the tradition, particularly with the strikingly-styled Aston Martin Lagonda of the 1980s.

Now, according to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, the new Lagonda aims to continue the trend. The company is planning to usher in “the biggest revolution in land-bound transportation since the invention of the car” on its way to becoming what Aston Martin claims will be the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand.

“We believe people associate luxury in their cars with a certain traditional and even old-fashioned approach because, to date, that is all that’s been available to them,” commented Palmer at the unveiling of the car. “Lagonda exists to challenge that thinking and prove that being modern and luxurious are not mutually exclusive concepts.”

Described as a ‘near future’ design study, the Vision Concept was unveiled alongside two 40% scale models of potential future Lagonda models, one a coupé and the other an SUV. According to Aston Martin chief creative officer, Marek Reichman, electrification allows a complete redesign of a car’s packaging.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision The Car Expert Geneva“Our new concept shows the scope of design opportunities that open up once you no longer need to provide space for a large power source directly in front of the passenger compartment,” Marek says, adding: “In the Lagonda Vision Concept, the batteries occupy the floor of the car. Everything above that line belongs to us.”

The Vision is significantly shorter and lower than traditional limousines but offers internal space for four, including plenty of room to stretch out. According to Reichman, without any internal combustion architecture to accommodate the designers were able to finalise the interior in detail and then build the car’s exterior around it. So, for example, there is no bonnet as it doesn’t need one.

Aston Martin is currently providing few performance details of the Lagonda Vision, only saying that it has been designed to accept batteries giving its all-wheel-drive powertrain a range of up to 400 miles between charges. The car is also designed to accept level four autonomous technology, in effect being able to drive itself on all recognisable roads.

Could this be Apple’s car?

Aston Martin is expected to partner with an as-yet-unnamed US technology company on this aspect of the Lagonda, sparking rumours that it could be Apple, which has been making very public noises about getting into the car industry.

Lagonda owners are expected to be the kind of people who are routinely transported in a car rather than driving it – so in order to give the most versatility between human or computer driver, the steering wheel can be moved from the left to right seat as needed and the front seats turn to face those in the rear.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision The Car Expert GenevaDecisions about how Lagonda will be marketed have also apparently still to be made – whether the cars will sold from existing Aston Martin dealerships or separately. No production facility has yet been revealed although it is known that the plant currently being constructed for the DBX SUV in St Athan, South Wales, would have the capacity for a second model.

Palmer describes Lagonda as a brand without limits, saying; “It will produce cars that exploit technology, without being obsessed with it for its own sake – and It will enable Lagonda to redefine the concept of luxury within the automotive and other spheres.”

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.